(Topic ID: 188682)

Inflation of Pinball Scoring


By TractorDoc

2 years ago



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  • 28 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by DennisDodel
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    #1 2 years ago

    After a few plays on Indiana Jones and Dirty Harry I switched over for a few games on Flash (also of the Williams variety) and wondered what prompted pinball scoring to move from the hundred thousands up to the hundreds of millions or even billions. . . Did scoring follow along with the national debt? Did one game maker try to outdo the other by making higher scores an incentive to buy their machines? Did people get bored of "low" scores? I know the EM machines were probably only in the thousands or ten thousands. . .
    I kinda appreciated the simple scoring in Flash where a good ball/long game can produce a nice score vs. hitting a few good shots in the other games/getting a jackpot can double or triple my average. Perhaps that thrill of the occasional super high score is one more thing that keeps you playing the newer games.
    Still have not hit the billions in either IJ or DH but working on it. . . wish my bank account could grow at the same rate pin scores have over the years!

    #2 2 years ago

    Older woodrails scored in the millions+. Mostly just limitations of the tech that made early SS score so low

    #3 2 years ago

    I hate the low scoring on most of Stern games but it seems like Batman and Aerosmith are a little better than the previous ones.

    #4 2 years ago

    How about those "dummy" reels in EMs for the 1s digit that look like a reel but is just a 0. Those are lame. I like in an old EM (Skill Pool comes to mind) when you have a really crappy ball and you get 9 points. That feels a little lame, but you know you deserve it. Comet had the first million point shot!

    I think that the inflation of scores is almost comical, but it doesn't bother me. They are just numbers. There is no need for a score to go the billions, especially if you are ignoring the numbers 1-10 or more though.

    #5 2 years ago

    A lot of recent games have put this back into perspective. Houdini, WoZ, Hobbit and DI all have more reasonable scoring than say... AFM

    #6 2 years ago

    I have thought this is part of the humor of AFM - just to have absurdly large numbers - when I keep track of scores I usually only note the highest 3 or 4 digits of the score - the other numbers are meaningless.

    #7 2 years ago

    I love the insane scoring on AFM. It suits the theme and it`s hilarious!
    I don`t like the new low scoring on Stern and JJP. Give me billions!

    #8 2 years ago

    Billions and Billions Served!

    I don't mind the high scoring, but it can be challenging to keep track of which shot/mode holds what value. In some ways high scoring and hitting a large number can be like winning the lottery . . . only you cant go out and spend it after the game .

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from Axl:

    I love the insane scoring on AFM. It suits the theme and it`s hilarious!

    Agreed! I played AFM for the first time this past weekend and on my first game, had 5 billion points. I was laughing the entire time - "Look, blew up the ship, got half a billion points for that shot!"

    #10 2 years ago

    Love AFM scoring - even on a shitty game I'm doing better than my high score on pretty much anything else!

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from TractorDoc:

    After a few plays on Indiana Jones and Dirty Harry I switched over for a few games on Flash (also of the Williams variety) and wondered what prompted pinball scoring to move from the hundred thousands up to the hundreds of millions or even billions. . . Did scoring follow along with the national debt? Did one game maker try to outdo the other by making higher scores an incentive to buy their machines? Did people get bored of "low" scores? I know the EM machines were probably only in the thousands or ten thousands. . .
    I kinda appreciated the simple scoring in Flash where a good ball/long game can produce a nice score vs. hitting a few good shots in the other games/getting a jackpot can double or triple my average. Perhaps that thrill of the occasional super high score is one more thing that keeps you playing the newer games.
    Still have not hit the billions in either IJ or DH but working on it. . . wish my bank account could grow at the same rate pin scores have over the years!

    " Did scoring follow along with the national debt? "

    Something like that. Look at those old wood rails with pop bumpers scoring 5 points and 10 points when lit. In those days, you could buy a candy bar for a nickel, a 6 ounce Coke for a nickel, and a 5 ball game of pinball for a nickel. Candy bars went to a dime, 8 oz. Cokes were the thing, and pinball went to a dime.

    Pinball was just keeping up with the times. In the 60s I remember my mom coming home from the grocery store bitching about how "5 dollars won't even buy a sack of groceries!" And pinball went to 100/1000 point pops.

    #12 2 years ago

    Cannot remember if it was IJ or DH, but yesterday I had the bumpers at 2 million a pop!

    #13 2 years ago

    I recall reading something about designers purposely massively inflated scoring to artificially give the perception of excitement; so the casual player felt like he or she were really accomplishing something.

    #14 2 years ago

    Yeah it just goes along with the advancement of pinball as well, you can draw people in with bigger and bigger scores ("I got 8 million on Funhouse!" "Yeah, well I got two BILLION on AFM!!"). The sweet spot for me is when a million is lucrative, anything more than that feels nonsensical.

    #15 2 years ago

    Me personally, I like dynamic scoring. Most games you could be doing well and making shots etc and score well and be balanced, but another dynamic is needed - i.e building jackpots and cashing in. I think ACDC & GOT hold this crown as they have so many strategies to cashing in a big chunk of change.

    On the flip side, As golden as a game like WOZ is code/gameplay wise, and as balanced as its scoring is, I think it's where JJP games lack. There's very little dynamic scoring factor that has those build up and cash in moments. Woz has more build up modes and cash in but it still doesn't register as a dynamic scoring feature, at least for me. So games like that are amazing for modes and stacking, but less for dynamic scoring.

    Bottom line is (personally), when it comes to scoring; I want to hit a shot that I know should cash in a lot of points, look at the screen when I make that shot, and be WOW'd. And I don't want it to be a one trick pony where it's the same shot, same build up, same cash in, etc...; give me options, diversify, and separate strategies so that there are new ways to cashing in big points. It's why I think the rules and scoring in GOT have hit a next level in pinball.

    #16 2 years ago

    The scoring a Baywatch is a bit ridiculous. It could be divided by 1000.

    They add small numbers the end to the end of scores. 10,000 bumper is actually 10,007 etc...

    #17 2 years ago

    Never understood the obsession with decimal points in scoring but it does exist. People were going bonkers when WOZ had it's low scoring.

    I appreciate all the scoring systems...form the insanity of AFM to the good feeling breaking 100 on some others.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from trunchbull:

    Yeah it just goes along with the advancement of pinball as well, you can draw people in with bigger and bigger scores ("I got 8 million on Funhouse!" "Yeah, well I got two BILLION on AFM!!"). The sweet spot for me is when a million is lucrative, anything more than that feels nonsensical.

    I prefer when a billion is just some astronomical score only professionals like Bowen or Elwin can achieve. A couple million for jackpots plus multipliers to make it interesting.

    #19 2 years ago

    Love No Fear super jackpots by making the jump ramp over and over! The high scoring makes sense to be extreme in No Fear.

    #20 2 years ago

    Stern has gotten the score balance down recently. You know when you hit a double jackpot for 6m you did something pretty great. The scoring also seems more balanced across all of their games now too. For example, 200m on Aerosmith would roughly be the equivalent of a 200m game of TWD.

    #21 2 years ago

    I'm sure larger scores were for wow factor, to draw in the player at first. Most people probably associate "millions" with becoming really large numbers in general...

    But there is a balance there - I really dislike the billions scoring games, as well as the JJP-level thousands scoring games.

    Millions for jackpots, getting up to 10s of millions for really special super or multiplied jackpots, and games totaling 100-200 ish million point being solid scores, seems like the sweet spot to me. Playing a full game on a modern pin like the Hobbit and only scoring 100k points feels pointless. Yet that scales right up to be an equivalent score range. As long as the scoring is balanced it shouldn't matter, but it does...

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Older woodrails scored in the millions+. Mostly just limitations of the tech that made early SS score so low

    And billions!

    http://mirror2.ipdb.org/images/2529/image-2.jpg

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    #23 2 years ago

    Cool! I wonder if any of those still exist.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    Cool! I wonder if any of those still exist.

    Been looking for many years..............

    #25 2 years ago

    The only way this phenomenon could matter is if different players got different amounts of inflation during the same game.

    Which is to say, it doesn't!

    onemillionpoints (resized).jpeg

    #26 2 years ago

    After playing several "high scoring" games (in the hundreds of millions/billions) I can get a feel for what a decent score would be for that particular game. I remember playing several games for the first time at the Ohio Pinball Show earlier this year and thought I finished with a good score. . . but really didn't know. At the end of the day the final scores were not all that important. . . getting to play some new pins and meet fellow enthusiasts was the highlight.

    #27 2 years ago

    And having one of these in the collection would be worth adding on to the gameroom/house!

    pasted_image (resized).png

    Wonder if the ball/flippers were increased in size as well or just the playfield?

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from TractorDoc:

    And having one of these in the collection would be worth adding on to the gameroom/house!

    Wonder if the ball/flippers were increased in size as well or just the playfield?

    No flippers. Most playfield parts were off the shelf. Bumpers, posts etc. I assume the ball was regular size also.

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